In my posting on understanding customer segments, Abdulrhman Bugnah requested an example on how to use the customer - value fit map. I won't go into an explanation of the customer-value fit. If you want more information on the design and the concept read Alex's blog:

This example is taken from one of the startup companies I am mentoring, used with their permission. Thanks to the people at MOOSE rail for the ideas.

The vision:

Ottawa is the capital of Canada and is situated in the Ottawa River valley. There is a substantial transit system for people who live in the city. However for people who live in the suburbs and many small towns around the valley lack rapid transit to get to and from the city. It is the vision of the company to bring modern, comfortable, affordable commuter rail transport to people who live outside the main boundaries of the city.

Having identified a series of customer segments that may be interested in the vision, and looked at the jobs-to-be-done and problems, we built some customer-value fit maps. Here is one of them.

The customer segment is commuters looking to get to and from the city on a regular or occasional basis. The main jobs for these people are to to get to their jobs in the city or to get to appointments. The appointments may be on a regular basis or may be on a one-time basis. For example many people have to get from rural locations to hospitals and treatment centres in the city. In addition for many of these people there are problems around not wanting or being unable to drive the 60 to 90 minutes to get into towen. Once there, there is always the problem of finding parking, and the high cost of daily parking as well as the cost of gas to drive back and forth.

So what are the pains and gains with which we can help? 

A lot of the pain centres around the stress of driving. It's a bad enough drive in off-hours, but when you have to drive an hour into town and then deal with rush hour traffic going across the city, or into the downtown core it is certainly painful. The costs of gas and parking as well as the wear on the vehicle are another item that causes people pain. One of the most frustrating aspects is trying to find parking, particularly if you are heading into the city centre. Spaces are at a premium, usually filled up early in the day and expensive when you can find one.

If we could solve the problems and help people get their job done, what would they gain? 

The biggest gain in all of this would be stress reduction, with the accompanying reduction in costs (travel, pollution, and accidents). With a modern service the traveller could reach the destination in comfort, and since they are not driving, regular commuters could use the time productively if they could do work while they travel. 

So what are we offering the customers?

We will deliver a modern commuter rail transport service from rural and suburban communities to and from the city. The trains will have wireless internet access, and will have amenities on board (beverage and food service).

This will relieve the pains by removing the stress and wear of driving into the heart of the city and finding parking. To provide for getting around the city once there, there will be multiple connection points to city public transit and transfer rights (no extra costs). To help further reduce the costs, there will be rate structures for frequent and occasional travellers.

The gains will be created by creating a comfortable travelling environment with food and beverage services. In order to make the travel time productive for frequent travellers heading into work, the modern cars leased by the company have business work areas and wireless internet.

This is a sketch of one of the multiple customer segments we talked about. This is a multi-sided platform so there would be very different values for each of the platform partners. One of the most interesting aspect of this company is the desire to create the service as a consortium of companies, each having a role inthe business and receiving value in return. This mapping helped us understand (done later in more detail) the value propositions the founders need to develop.

Views: 5250

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hi MIke,

Thank you for providing this insight! I think it's highly valuable to exchange experiences and application of the CVC to better understand it. I've been applying it myself as well and that has given rise to a couple of observations regarding your example:

1. You summarize the job into a single term: getting to the city. I sometimes tend to deconstruct the description of the "job" into a process flow, because my experience is that your value proposition fits to part of a wider workflow that your customers are performing. You might miss out on certain important parts of the job and possible implications for your value proposition if you don't describe the workflow. In your case how would you for instance determine that customers are trying to achieve a more comfortable commute, while the job could also be that they are trying to achieve a more productive use of their morning hours? What's your experience on ways of describing "the job"?

2. In my thinking I tend to "cross the line" by filling in the gains on the customer side to what actually should belong on the value proposition side. I observe you have done this as well in your example. Stress reduction and cost savings relate to the value proposition.They are more like the results of your envisioned gain creators, not so much the gains from performing the job. A gain that might pertain to the job would be "having the advantage of living outside of the city" "quiet time before work" or "enjoying the rural scenery whilst traveling". I'm keen to have your take on this, as I'm often confused myself when working with the CVC. I suspect that Alex is remedying this in the new design of the CVC with a square for the value proposition and a circle for the job: keeping them separate.

3. Last point relates to the 2nd: It is really important in my opinion to separate the description of the job from the value proposition. The job won't change much, while on the other hand there is a host of competing alternatives for the value proposition to tackle the job; amongst which yours. For instance an alternative to your case might be a bulldozer/bus transport combination to plough through traffic, a company car pooling webtool so employees can have their morning meetings in the car, etc. There a multiple options to "hire" to get the job done. Do you work out these alternatives as well before coming to the value proposition you have mentioned above?

Sorry for the lengthy response, but I hope to gather more insights on these points as I often wrestle with them myself. Thanks for your post which provided me with the opportunity to write this out ;-)


HI Bart, thanks for your reply, interesting. One note about my example, I have kept the example  simple as the objective here is to cover the concept in a short post. In real-time completing a value map involves considerable discussions about each of the components, so we understand what's happening. The goal of this analysis is to develop deeper understanding of the segment. So just a cursory listing of an idea is insufficient to the purpose. Like the BM canvas, this is a tool to guide a conversation.

1 - In talking bout the customer having to "get to a job or an appointment" from outlying areas, the conversation would include looking at aspects of that trip. Some of these may be attributes of the trip, e.g. desire for comfort, some may surface as problems, e.g. cost of parking and wasted time. That is how we drive out the pains and gains. We could then isolate those aspects as further things our offer could resolve, e.g. comfort and work time through wifi access or space.

2 - The way I look at the 'gain' part of the equation is, if the customer could do this really well, what would they stand to gain over it not being done now, or being done now in a poor way. Sometimes these may be directly connected to the pains, other times the gain may be a longer term outcome, e.g. more profitability because you can work on your transit time.

3 - There are two angles that can be considered here. If you are using the customer value fit as a tool to design a solution, then you are going to use the insights you gain from the right-hand side to design a solution (offer) that can address what you see happening in the customer side of the map. More often though, the map is used to test and evolve your vision in an offer, or even test the validity of your vision.

One begins with a vision for a product or a service you feel can be a profitable business (regional train commuter transport). The customer-value map is a way to test, on paper, the problem-solution fit that is key to the discovery phase of customer development. What you are asking yourself through this analysis is "can, or how can our offer solve real problems or jobs to be done of a customer segment". That conversation doesn't end there. What follows is the need to confirm your understanding of the customer (if that wasn't done as part of developing the map), and then to test whether or not the customer is willing to pay you, and how much they are willing to pay you for that solution This is the customer validation phase.

Hope this adds to the ideas.

Hi Mike,


Thanks again for your terrific input! I agree with your points: the canvas is a discussion tool and should be used to refine your thinking, and to test, and validate thereafter. 


Regarding the ‘gain’ part of the canvas, mentioned under 2), I do still have some points (sorry about that). I would interpret the ‘gains’ as gains that customers’ obtain form getting the job done in any case. The gains are the reasons that the customer is performing the specific job in the first place. These gains could be as simple as having a productive day -as a result of getting to your job.


Once you understand that, you are in a position to enhance or expand on the benefits with the gain creators you provide though your value proposition and offer - as a complement or an amplifier to the gains which are already there.  For instance what you would create is the ability for people to extend their productive day, through offering them wifi access (which could be listed on the utmost left hand building block)


This is just my reading of how the canvas works. I definitely understand the value of what it tries to do in terms of getting clarity on the customer segments. However I do think that the design of the canvas is not as intuitive yet as the business model canvas, where there is a clear set of questions you can ask to make sure you provide a fitting type of answer in each building block. What’s your experience on this, and would you have any suggestions to improve this?






There is never a need to apologize for having a different opinion or taking things in another direction. That is the very reason this material is distributed under CC license by Alex. It is intended for people to think and adapt. The bottom line is, does your approach work for you and your clients to build more clarity in understanding your customers.

I used the CV map for the first time on a project recently. Amazingly enough the process of describing the client segments (see the forum post on practical exercise for understanding customer segments), and looking at the pains and gains was quite the revelation for my clients. We gathered the individual CV maps into a single statement of pains and gains and used used the create and relive questions to evaluate the prototype solutions we came up with - at least at an initial evaluation. we looked at how each prototype addressed the pains and gains.


I like the post and the conversation here.

A couple of lines on how to use the new tool:

It is important to not relate the customer profile too closely to the solution in mind. One should try to think about the jogs, pains and gains without connecting it too much to the solution in mind.

In reality that is not always easy, yet it is important to try. In the above case the general job is getting to the city from the suburbs. The pains are the time it takes to get there, the current lack of alternatives to the car, costs of existing solutions, etc.

The jobs, pains and gains should be formulated in a way that they are not dependent on the solution in mind. Else, it becomes difficult to generate different alternative solutions/VPs (e.g. one could be moving to the city ;-)

I like the way Bart put it:

The job won't change much, while on the other hand there is a host of competing alternatives for the value proposition to tackle the job

It's like an open slot for which companies are competing.

Hello to all! 

After reading deeply about CVM and the Client Table Im really interested in getting material about what to do next after doing these excercises.I mean exactly about what tools and/or workshops are ideal to develop the Channels/Relations blocks.

Any material would be of further interest.


HI Somaye;

There's a couple of points to make here.

First this example was written in 2012 when we were first developing what eventually became the value proposition canvas in the book Value Proposition Design. Our thinking and languages has evolved a great deal from this first version.

In the example I am not listing the products and services specifically in the gain creators. What I had listed, in customer profile, as the desired gains were: stress reduction, comfort, and savings. In the area gain creators I explain "how" my products and services will create those desired gains.

Thanks a lot Friends for sharing this Information. This is more useful for me.


© 2018   Created by Alex Osterwalder.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service